A lot of times people ask us what are the most important factors that go into a website video that makes it both effective and engaging. While there are many factors that may be determined by the individual’s own personality (on screen or voice over) and business type (technical or more conversational)-there are several factors that weave a common thread through all good productions.
Here are our top 5 (in no particular order):
1. Quality over Quantity
We’ve noticed a lot of chatter about the ease of putting a video online, mainly about the use of smart phone cameras and inexpensive equipment. The problem with this is the way you present yourself and your company DOES have a huge impact on someone online choosing you over your competition. Think about it, normally a person searching online does not know you or your company personally. Because of this, first impressions matter. If your video content is poorly produced, not well thought out, and generally bad quality-this speaks also to the perception your company will have with prospects.
If you have a minimal budget for website video, then the correct way to proceed is to start out with a well produced video on the front page that does a comprehensive look at your business. Think of it as a 30,000 ft view. To do this correctly requires some planning and scripting, but the returns will be more than worth the increased work or money you put in to it.
2. Get your message out quickly
Attentions are generally short, but online they are even shorter. People will leave if they don’t get what they are looking for in a relatively short period of time. This holds true with written word as well as website video content. The best advise we can give is to put the message you want to convey to your audience as close to the beginning of your video as possible. Often we do this with clients in the form of a question-because this teases the viewer into knowing that an answer is coming. We find the best way to do this is say something along the lines of “Do you xxxxx?”. This brings them into the conversation quickly.
3. Keep your video under the 3 minute mark
Lots of people come forth with information regarding the length of website videos, for both long and short time frames. Our research and experience shows a marked increase in the effectiveness of a website video that keeps the total time under 3 minutes. Ideally it should be anywhere from 1 to 2 minutes.
The one exception to this rule is “how to” videos-mainly because people will often follow along as a tutorial on something they need help on. Those types of videos need to concentrate on providing the information in a concise and easy to follow manner, and if that means going over 3 minutes, your better off to do that than to cut it short and not provide the full explanation you need to.
4. Do your keyword research first
This is where a lot of people fall short in producing website video, because they assume they know what people are looking for. More often than not, when they assume, well you know the rest of this….
There are too many ways to find out what it is that people want, information wise, that relates to your business, service or products. Not doing at least simple keyword research first before producing your website video is the ultimate cart before the horse scenario.
5. Properly optimize your videos for maximum results
While your videos may be on your website, not having them optimized for the search engines leaves out a golden opportunity to drive targeted traffic to your site. Since Google includes videos in their organic search results, and you have a 50% better chance to rank video content over written, then it only makes sense to do everything possible to get your videos to rank for high value keywords (see number 4 above).
Properly titling a video, including a keyword rich description and the proper tags are but 3 good practices to include when uploading video to a site like YouTube.
If you self host a website video, be sure to include a video sitemap with your site, that give search engines the proper information to index your video in their results. Without this, they will have a hard time determining the content of your video and thus probably leave it out of any search results.
Website video is effective when done right, but also can hurt you if it is not. A professional web video production company can provide you with the necessary ingredients to guarantee your videos will not only look great, but also produce the needed results to give you a positive return on your investment for years to come.